The Death of EFM?

The well-known industry expert Bruce Temkin recently posted that “Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) is dead”. Extreme? That was certainly Temkin’s aim to use the title to grab headlines but he does maintain that the term is at most a description of the past
EFM is, in short, advanced survey software. It collates statistical feedback and analysis whilst offering reporting which can be filtered throughout the business to different departments. The system includes detailed workflow structures and business rules as to who has access to what. The surveys can be developed to measure customers, partners and staff.
A quick flick to Wikipedia and you could be forgiven for thinking that the term is far from ‘dead’. The font of student wisdom boasts that the “EFM market grew 60-70% in 2005 and 2006” and references Gartner growth predictions. But in my experience it is a term that means very little today: an outdated moniker, as Temkin succinctly suggests.
Temkin claims that replacing EFM solutions are what he chooses to call Customer Insight and Action Platforms. At Fizzback, we pride ourselves on the assets that differentiate us from solutions of the EFM ilk:

  • Focus on the customer: Fizzback operationalizes voice of the customer into the very fabric of our clients’ businesses – informing better decision-making and rapid customer recovery whilst reducing costs on obsolete market research techniques.
  • Multi-channel voice of the customer platform: moving away from the survey-saturation of EFM methodology to mine meaningful insight from a range of sources including social media.
  •  Fusing the qualitative with the quantitative: EFM platforms’ reliance on the numbers and scoring provided a one-dimensional window. This approach is superseded by Fizzback’s compelling value proposition – by running all customer verbatim comments through a proprietary Natural Language Processing engine looking for topic and sentiment, our clients are able to gather richer insight and real traction for voice of the customer through their businesses.
Although many EFM programs had the right basis they lacked the human side of engaging with the customer and this is why it has lead figures such as Bruce Temkin to claim the term is dead. At Fizzback we pride ourselves on creating a customer centric culture within our clients’ businesses – an end result outside the scope of increasingly defunct EFM solutions.
Before I sign off it is perhaps wise to mention semantics; Bruce believes the definition is outdated, yet the process of gathering feedback and acting on it is not. Surely this is just a matter of semantics some would argue! A more accurate description might be to describe the demise of EFM as the evolution into Customer Experience Management. 
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